The human body contains immune cells programmed to fight cancer and viral infections, but they often have short lifespans and are not numerous enough to overcome attacks by particularly aggressive malignancies or invasions. Now researchers reporting in two separate papers in the January 4th issue of the Cell Press journal Cell Stem Cell used stem cell technology to successfully regenerate patients’ immune cells, creating large numbers that were long-lived and could recognize their specified targets: HIV-infected cells in one case and cancer cells in the other. The findings could help in the development of strategies to rejuvenate patients’ exhausted immune responses.
A study characterizing the multipotency and transplantation value of olfactory stem cells, as well as the ease in obtaining them, has been published in a recent issue of Cell Transplantation (20:11/12), now freely available on-line at http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cog/ct/.
Cardiomyocytes, the workhorse cells that make up the beating heart, can now be made cheaply and abundantly in the laboratory.Â Writing this week (May 28, 2012) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of Wisconsin scientists describes a way to transform human stem cells — both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells — into the critical heart muscle cells by simple manipulation of one key developmental pathway. The technique promises a uniform, inexpensive and far more efficient alternative to the complex bath of serum or growth factors now used to nudge blank slate stem cells to become specialized heart cells.
A new technique that converts stem cells into brain cells has been developed by researchers at Lund University. The method is simpler, quicker and safer than previous research has shown and opens the doors to a shorter route to clinical cell transplants.
Â—University of Michigan researchers have proven that a special surface, free of biological contaminants, allows adult-derived stem cells to thrive and transform into multiple cell types. Their success brings stem cell therapies another step closer.
A substance in human mesenchymal stem cells that promotes growth appears to spur restoration of nerves and their function in rodent models of multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have found.
UC Davis Health System researchers are a step closer to launching human clinical trials involving the use of an innovative stem cell therapy to fight the virus that causes AIDS.
In a paper published in the May issue of the Journal of Virology, the UC Davis HIV team demonstrated both the safety and efficacy of transplanting anti-HIV stem cells into mice that represent models of infected patients. The technique, which involves replacing the immune system with stem cells engineered with a triple combination of HIV-resistant genes, proved capable of replicating a normally functioning human immune system by protecting and expanding HIV-resistant immune cells. The cells thrived and self-renewed even when challenged with an HIV viral load.
A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the National Human Genome Research Institute has evaluated the whole genomic sequence of stem cells derived from human bone marrow cellsÂ—so-called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cellsÂ—and found that relatively few genetic changes occur during stem cell conversion by an improved method. The findings, reported in the March issue of Cell Stem Cell, the official journal of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), will be presented at the annual ISSCR meeting in June.
The University of Michigan’s second human embryonic stem cell line has just been placed on the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s registry, making the cells available for federally-funded research. It is the second of the stem cell lines derived at U-M to be placed on the registry.
- Yale researchers show in detail how three genes within human embryonic stem cells regulate development, a finding that increases understanding of how to grow these cells for therapeutic purposes.
This process, described in the April 6 issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell, is different in humans than in mice, highlighting the importance of research using human embryonic stem cells.